Fallstreak Cloud Witnessed Over Wonthaggi, Melbourne

Fallstreak Cloud Witnessed Over Wonthaggi, Melbourne

On Monday, a bizarre rainbow-tinged boat-shaped cloud appeared over Wonthaggi, a seaside town which is 132 kilometers south-east of Melbourne. Images of this rapture cloud were all over Twitter as the puzzled users sought answers for it.

These images emerged just before 1pm on Monday after a listener called into radio station 3AW. The images show a cloud that was like a massive, ethereal, rainbow-filled hole that was splitting up a stormy sky.

Many Wonthaggi locals posted images of this bizarre cloud formation. They all posted hashtags that more or less raised the questions that what exactly was going on over Wonthaggi? Some users even went on to ask whether the world has actually reached its end.

Michael Efron, a duty forecaster from the Bureau of Meteorology, clarified that there was nothing to be worried about. Explaining more about the cloud he stated that it looks like a fallstreak cloud which is also known as a punch hole cloud.

He said, "They form when the water temperature in the cloud is below freezing, but the water has not yet frozen due to a lack of ice nucleation particles. When the water does start to freeze, it falls down to the surface so you're left with this cloud surrounding it, this clear area".

He added that high clouds which are about 5km above ground are needed for fallstreak clouds to form. The rainbow so formed inside the cloud is called "iridescence" and is something similar to what appears in the case of soap bubbles, butterfly wings and sea shells.

Though the bureau does not keep records of how often such a unique cloud formations occur, what is know is that a similar cloud emerged in Perth last month and was shaped like a watery UFO.


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